Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Union Academy 2nd Grade Market Place: A Culmination of UA's 3 Cs

     In February, 2nd grade students learned about money in math and economics in social studies. To bring these concepts to life, the 2nd grade team of teachers created the Market Place Project. Through this project, students were asked to create their own business and "put to use all of the real-life skills they learned earlier in the month," said Mrs. Laura Kohn, 2nd grade teacher. They were given the option to work in teams or individually and were told that their business could either produce a product or provide a service. Students had to name their business, make a business plan, create a poster advertisement, and, of course, create their items for sale.
     On February 28th, the students brought all the pieces together to create their classroom Market Place. Students rushed around the four 2nd grade classrooms setting up their stations, advertising their goods, excited to bring their business creations to life. Second grade classrooms were filled with home-made cookies, book marks, hair bows, nail salons, and more. At 8:15 am the Market Place opened for business. Students worked together to figure out customer totals and count back change. When some things didn't sell, they thought quickly and created sales and incentives to encourage customers.
     This Market Place project tied seamlessly into UA's mission of the Three C's: Challenge, Character and Community in many ways. According to Cara Schaefer, "Our students learned important life skills about showing initiative (starting a business), responsibility/trustworthiness (running the business and keeping track of cash), optimism/ perseverance (not giving up when their business was slow) and compassion (donating to a worthy cause to help others)."
     While this is not the first time UA has held a 2nd grade Market Place, it is the first time the project was combined with helping those in need. "This year our 2nd grade teachers thought about how to combine this annual assignment with service learning. Since, the 2nd grade already serves the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House, it was an easy connection to make," said Lower School Principal Shannen Bretz. According to Mrs. Greenwalt, 2nd grade teacher, "This year 2nd grade was able to involve parents in an additional way with 2nd Grade Market Place. Our parents showed their continued support to our students and our community outreach partner, Ronald McDonald House. Parents came and shopped at our Market Place, donating $1,150.00 for Ronald McDonald House."
      This month long project accomplished a number of the 11 Principles of Character Education, the tool used to assess a National School of Character. The adaption of this annual assignment into a service learning project is a recent example of how UA continually assess its character education efforts and looks for areas of improvement (Principle 11) and provides opportunities for moral action/service learning (Principle 5). In addition, the 2nd grade team of teachers did an outstanding job of creating a caring community (Principle 4) and developing a meaningful, challenging academic curriculum that develops character in students (Principle 6).

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